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Record-breaking free adoption event continues at Charleston Animal Society

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Map showing the location of adopters from the Great American Rescue event. (Source: CAS) Map showing the location of adopters from the Great American Rescue event. (Source: CAS)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Last week's free adoption event at the Charleston Animal Society (CAS) is extending into this week after overwhelming support from the community led to record-breaking adoption numbers.

The Great American Rescue kicked off Tuesday, July 22 at CAS. Originally scheduled to run one week, the free adoption event was a way for the no kill shelter to alleviate over-crowding. 

Dan Krosse, a marketing representative for CAS, says the free adoption campaign was so wildly successful that it has been extended through August 3.

Wildly successful may be putting things lightly.

Krosse says last week alone, from Tuesday to Sunday, a total of 322 animals (105 dogs, 214 cats, 3 other animals) were adopted. It was the first time CAS averaged over 50 adoptions per day during the time of the campaign, with an animal being adopted every six-and-a-half-minutes during the times they were open.

To put that in perspective, the folks at CAS say they normally adopt out 60 to 70 animals a week.

The Great American Rescue campaign was put on as a way to combat over-crowding at the shelter. Despite the huge adoption numbers, Krosse says the shelter is still over capacity, with more than 400 animals in the system and roughly 150 additional animals coming in every week. The shelter has space for 250 animals, while 500 foster families help care for the overflow.

And the summer months are when those numbers rise the most.

"It is the cycle of nature. In the spring, the cats and the dogs mate, and then POW. Starting late May, June, we start seeing tiny puppies that aren't old enough to adopt until here were are, boom," said Krosse. "We are looking at a lot of animals that are at the right age, as well as older dogs."

Through the first week of the fee-free adoption event, new pet parents have come from as far as Knoxville, TN and Raleigh, NC, which Krosse credits to the reputation of CAS.

"People are learning that we are making Charleston a no kill community, and people support that," said Krosse. "People want to go where people are making an effort to save every healthy and treatable animal possible. I think word is getting out about how great our animals are."

While CAS is missing out on major revenue by allowing their animals to be adopted free of charge, for them, it is not always about the bottom line.

"When it comes to a point where we need help saving these animals lives, that is what we offer," said Krosse. "And it's great for the community."

"Fee-waived adoption events our are way of giving back to a community that loves animals," said Charleston Animal Society Community Engagement Director Kay Hyman, "earlier this month we were named the best dog town in the Southeast and I think the success of this event helps to prove that."

The Great American Rescue runs through August 3 at CAS, located at 2455 Remount Road. All animals adopted from CAS are microchipped and spayed/neutered, in addition to having a complete medical exams and all vaccinations. 

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